So this brings up to early 2012. Our efforts to find out who we are and where we are had been coming along slowly, but steadily. Then came the first demanda (lawsuit).
We were presented the first copy of the demanda (lawsuit) during our routine meeting in January by someone unknown to us. He obviously had been sent by Chuchi to see that we get the paperwork. He was not forthcoming with how he obtained this, just that it had been given to him.
Super Prez read the papers and said he would look into it. The next day, the official notice was sent to his office. In this demanda (lawsuit) the perforador del pozo (the guy who drilled the hole that pretends to be a well) sued La Yacata and Super Prez for non-payment of work completed and nearly double in interest making the grand total about $500,000 pesos.
The lawsuit claimed that a contract had been signed in Super Prez’s office in 2007. Since Super Prez didn’t have an office in 2007 and was not the president of the community group La Yacata at the time, the well hole digger falsified the contract (with Chuchi’s help).
Well, the law works in mysterious ways here. Once a demanda (lawsuit) has been received, the accused party (in this case La Yacata and Super Prez) have 9 days to respond or it’s an automatic win to the presenter (the well digger). So since R’s brother, R2, was part of a legal team, a lawyer of sorts, he wrote a response to the lawsuit alleging falsification of the contract.
Now that a response had been made, the case proceeds to los juzgados (court). There, both sides present their cases to the judge who makes the final decision. It is a laborious and time-consuming process.
R2 decreed that he would accept no money until the case was won. It wasn’t a risk for him really, the charges were ludicrous. Lawyers are paid a percentage of the total claim. R2 said he would be content with a mere $100,000 pesos, after all, he was saving us $400,000 pesos by his efforts. We didn’t have any choice but to agree.
This first demanda (lawsuit) was open from January until September when the judge finally made his ruling in our favor. There was no contract between Super Prez or the people of La Yacata and the well hole digger. The contract was found to be between the well hole digger and Chuchi and therefore Chuchi was responsible for the balance of payment.
The next day R2 came for his first payment from the people of La Yacata. We put in a contra-demanda (counter demand) against the well hole digger in order to get back some of the money we have paid in our defense, but it won’t cover all the expenses. So each lot has a $250 peso cuota (charge) to pay the lawyers. It isn’t fair. We are being penalized for problems Chuchi has made. It doesn’t make the colonos (people) happy at all.